Sword of the Stars - Expansion Released

Just wanted to let everyone know that Born of Blood, the expansion to the space 4X game Sword of the Stars has been released and is available for download from GamersGate and Direct2Drive.

Obligatory release snippage:

Sword of the Stars: Born of Blood Features
[li]Play as the merciless Zuul Slavers with over 90 brand-new ship sections and their unique drive system – the Tunnel Drive
[/li]> [li]Over 25 additional technologies, including new diplomacy and intelligence gathering techs
[/li]> [li]15 more weapons you can add to your ship designs
[/li]> [li]New ship sections for the original four races, including: War, Projector, Boarding, and a new type of defense satellite – the Torpedo Defense Platform
[/li]> [li]4 additional galactic encounters, a new grand menace, plus 3 unique scenarios and 6 original maps
[/li]> [li]New game features, including Slavery, Trade Routes, and Diplomatic Communications
[/li]> [/ul]

It’s not just bringing in a 5th race and new techs, they’ve added some new gameplay systems like trade and diplomacy, improved the UI, and added more feedback like line graphs, detailed combat reports, and ship listings. All fully usable in multi and single player.

Sword of the Stars has been sitting on my shelf for a while waiting for a good excuse to play it. Is the expansion worthwhile for the changes to the base game?

I haven’t got it yet, but I ordered it as soon as I heard it was almost upon us. The base game is a superb game to play against the AI, my brother and I have had a blast. By the looks of it this expansion is really going to rival Core Contingency for “greatest changes to the base game”.

Yes. IMO it’s made a good game great. Some fun enhancements including:

Combat intel on what techs the enemy is using
Ability to spy and watch enemy fleets fight each other
Very nice diplomacy system
Commerce/trading system to enhance the economy
New weapons (heavy energy cannon, AP rounds, AOE missiles, dumbfire missile pods, energy projectors, etc)
New interesting race
New and evolving alien menaces

This is now my favorite 4X game.

Is this a good game? I nearly bought it back when it first came out…but it seemed that the reviews it was getting was just…not that great.

And if i end up buying it…is the game worth it coming from gamersgate (i think they have download)? I have always heard that the direct2drive always sucks…


I loved the original. I’ll also note that many of the complaints about the original release version were fixed in two follow up patches. The developers did listen.

I’ll also add that the expansion add some of the game elements that some reviews thought were lacking.

And if i end up buying it…is the game worth it coming from gamersgate (i think they have download)? I have always heard that the direct2drive always sucks…Chris

Yes, D2D does suck, but GG has been great. I bought the CD version of SOTS but the GG version of BOB has worked flawlessly for me.

You’ve always been able to view allied and enemy battles with FTL Broadband and Sub-Space Spy Beam technologies. It gives you a good feel for your enemies’ tech and tactics, and with the expansion you get the detailed combat report for those observed combats.

Oh and it’s worth noting that the expansion is compatible with any version of SotS. I bought my SotS copy from the stores and easily loaded the downloaded expansion from GamersGate on top of it.

Well freakin A!!! I’ve never researched FTL broadband because I’ve never trusted an AI enough to ally with them, and because I thought it was more of a MP thing. Never had any idea there was something beyond FTL Broadband. Freakin A again I say! :)

If I like MoO1 better than MoO2, am I likely to like this game?

Is a retail version planned, or will this be download-only?


It’s planned to be on store shelves but there’s no official date for North America. For the UK and the European continent it’ll be on shelves by the end of the month. There’s also been talk of a gold edition but again, nothing officially announced.

I can’t really say because it’s been a damn long time since I played either MOO1 or 2. It’s designed to be played online so you’re not bogged down with a lot of details with individual colony management. Colonies are rated by size, resources and environmental hazard. Colony improvements are represented simply by an infrastructure percentage not specific buildings like Civ or MOO3. The only colony outputs are money and industrial output. You route industrial output to building infrastructure, terraforming or building ships by using sliders. Any leftover industrial output is converted to money through trade. In the expansion you can increase that trade bonus by setting up freighters on trade routes.

Income from each colony is combined together into the total empire income. This is used to pay for debt interest, gifts to other empires, fleet and colony maintenance, and the leftover is used increase the treasury or fund research (controlled by a slider). It may sound fairly complicated, but you’re not worrying about hammers vs. beakers vs. etc. Everything is either construction or money. Quitch can probably explain it better than I can.

I don’t have any experience with either Moo game, but SOTS empire management is all about a few sliders, which is what MOO1 was AFAIK. However, be not fooled, the annoying potential for micro is strong in SOTS because the interface is clumsy in its handling of planets. If you intend to play in multiplayer than micro is a must because there are many MANY easy ways to play better which are incredibly simple, yet labour intensive.

I would say that the system is simple, it’s all about the allocation of funds. Do you put it into construction, research or savings? Construction builds up planets which makes them more productive (which in turn is divided into the industry and teraforming budget, the differences between colonists and industry are never explained so I’ve never fiddled), research gives you new tech which makes you more effective and savings are used to buy ships and earn more money through interest. There’s no silly hammer conversion, you have a single income stream and then you divide it up.

The system is simple, but the interface does make it harder to manage than it should be. I’m sure I could think of ten ways to improve it in ten minutes.

As we have said before it’s “a great game if you can get past the interface”, so it depends whether you loved MOO1 because of the simplicity of the interface, or the refreshing simplicity, yet depth of the game. SOTS definitely manages the later. It’s primarily a game focusing on ships and battles, with the empire simply being there to support this. The races are also very different from one another.

However, the expansion looks to move the empire and its relevance more front and centre, and I can’t comment on that yet because my copy hasn’t arrived.

There’s been a lot of feedback driven improvements to the interface over the course of the three patches and the expansion. Pretty much all of the complaints I’ve read about have been addressed to some extent with the latest version.

Be aware if you have Vista, you need to jump through some extra hoops or the BoB expansion just dies instantly with a mars.dmp error. It was easily enough remedied on my laptop by following the steps on Kereberos’ forum, which is basically a manual install of a specific version of DirectX.

I like Moo1, and I like this. Haven’t played Moo2.

Quitch, do you have examples of micro required in multiplayer? I play multiplayer occasionally, and don’t find myself microing any more than in SP. Of course I might suck :)

I purchased this on a whim, Im a sucker for 4x space games. I thought that playing a sphererical universe was extremely cluttered and confusing, so I moved to a 2d universe layout. I like it a little better. But I have some questions…

  1. Dealing with random encounters… I’ve ran into stuff like a “alien derilict” which eats my whole force up like nothing, as well as colony traps and “the swarm”, what kind of insanity is this?

Just keep out of the line of fire of the derelicts as they rotate and you’ll be completely safe. A single ship with gauss cannons can take one out over 2 or 3 turns. I usually don’t have the patience for this, and ignore them until I can send 3 armors to destroy them quickly.

In my experience you need fleets of 6+ ships with green/UV lasers or point defence to deal with the swarm. They have become more dangerous in BoB.

Haven’t had much experience with colony traps.

If the random encounters are annoying you (I can see how they might be as you’re trying to learn the game), you can choose to turn them off when you make a new game.

As QT3’s Destineer representative (publisher of the retail version of SoTS in North America), I would say this: Don’t wait for a boxed copy if you want the expansion. You may be waiting a very long time.

Edit: 100th post. Woo!

Grinningman, Rorschach, thanks. I think I will give it a try. :)

I picked up the expansion last week. So, far I’ve been having a blast with it. I only played a few games of the original (too many other games to play at the time). But, since installing the expansion, it’s the only game I’ve played.

Some of the bigger battles are just cool to watch.

Haven’t had much experience with colony traps.

I’m not sure how to stop them. Last night I sent an entire 20pt fleet with that much more reinforcements, and the trap took them all out without a shot fired from my ships. Maybe you need to bombard the planet before sending in the colony ships.